Founded by Ou Virak in late 2015, Future Forum is a new and independent think tank generating new thinking for a new Cambodia. Future Forum’s vision is of a just, democratic, dynamic and prosperous Cambodia shaped by the needs of its people rather than its rulers. To make that vision a reality, our mission is to nurture a community of young thinkers, develop positive policy solutions and engender critical debate, molding the future of Cambodia – “Public. Policy. Forward.” Our core values are: Nurture, Create and Debate.
We are an evidence-based think tank that focuses on research, analysis and public policy and represents a dynamic response to an identified “policy gap” in Cambodia. We seek to stimulate a new type of thinking to enable Cambodian society to make better decisions and to achieve better outcomes, with young people coming to the fore of such types of contributions.
By adopting a measured, analytical and considered approach, we conduct rigorous, in-depth research that involves all stakeholders in finding concrete, creative and principled solutions to Cambodian policy issues. Future Forum’s objective is thus to encourage intellectual research and thinking, to positively influence the policy narrative in Cambodia at a local, national and international level, employing evidence-based policy debate, analysis and recommendations to inspire Cambodian people – especially youth and young professionals – to achieve democratic, political and socio-economic change that will benefit all of Cambodia.
While there are various civil society actors in Cambodia engaged with a wide variety of issues, a lot of current civil society work is reactive, whereas Future Forum takes a step back and adopt a more measured, analytical and considered approach, that identifies underlying trends and employs rigorous research, and creative and principled policy recommendations to help shape Cambodia’s policy discourse.
Rather than simply identifying problems, Future Forum adopts a solution-oriented approach, and uses its research to equip key decision-makers with detailed, specific, constructive policy solutions to Cambodia’s issues. Future Forum is fully independent and therefore free to tackle difficult issues and able to formulate policy recommendations that are principled, critical yet positive, and in line with international human rights standards.
While some civil society organizations focus on specific issues (e.g., judicial reform, election monitoring), Future Forum works on a range of relevant thematic issues; our staff and affiliated researchers are engaged in research, policy work, legal analysis, advocacy and media outreach.
Future Forum is a physical space where (1) young researchers can come and work on developing policy ideas and recommendations, (2) experts and high-profile figures from various fields can conduct seminars, discussion and conferences, and (3) stakeholders can present their policy solutions to the public. Our core staff, as well as external researchers and fellows, conduct in-depth research, carrying out evidence-based analysis and research, to generate public policy recommendations, briefing papers and other publications for a wide range of key decision-makers.
The Policy Forum
Future Forum’s core staff, as well as external researchers and fellows, conduct in-depth research, carrying out evidence-based analysis and research, to generate public policy recommendations, briefing papers and other publications for a wide range of key decision-makers. This work is closely linked to Future Forum’s other programmatic areas – namely, the Research Hub, the Advisory Services, and the Civic Education component – and provides substantive policy analysis to support those programs and activities. All of Future Forum’s outputs are grounded in the idea of the “Cambodia We Want,” i.e. on focusing on the longer-term ways forward for Cambodia and in establishing a positive vision for Cambodia, rather than on reiterating the problems.
Future Forum provides on-demand advisory services and policy recommendations to private stakeholders and decision-makers in a range of fields, including business, legal, political and institutional. Services are comprehensive, ranging from client-adapted, needs-based analyses to hands-on training of staff. We focus on political analysis and scenario planning, as well as provide training in the areas of Cambodian politics and government.
Through our Civic Education project, we develop new and exciting ways to involve the Cambodian public in issues related to politics and policy in Cambodia. We will be developing videos aimed at a youth audience in the months leading up to the 2017 local elections and the 2018 national elections, as well as introductory materials related to Cambodian government and politics.
You can find out more about each area of our work and the Future Forum team using the tabs above.
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